Oliver McGown

Oliver McGowan’s Campaign Gains Support

The Oliver McGowan Campaign was founded by Paula McGowan following the death of her son Oliver.

Oliver McGowan died after being given anti-psychotic medication despite medical staff being told repeatedly by both Oliver and his parents that he had reacted badly to it in the past. The drug caused his brain to swell severely and he died in intensive care. You can read Oliver’s story in full here.

Oliver’s death highlighted the need for healthcare staff to have better access to training that offers a greater understanding of autism and learning disabilities. The training would help improve their skills and confidence when delivering care. As a result, Paula has campaigned to make training in learning disability and autism mandatory for healthcare staff.

Paula’s campaign has succeeded and consequently there will be mandatory training for all health and social care staff which will be known as The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism.

 This comes as two prominent healthcare leaders have become the latest supporters for Oliver’s Campaign. Health Education England’s Chief Nurse, Professor Mark Radford and Philippa Spicer, the Regional Director for the South East have written supportive testimonials for Oliver’s campaign. They are the latest influential leaders to show their support.

The partners who have been selected to design, develop, trial and evaluate the training was announced by Health Education England this month. The British Institute of Learning Disabilities (BILD), Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Mencap Society/National Autistic Society and Pathways Associates CIC and the National Development Team for inclusion have all been selected.

Full of Life works closely with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and has helped design their Hospital Passport. The information in these can be made more specific to healthcare environments and can include information about the person with a learning disability and what treatments they are receiving from different professionals. The passport is also useful in explaining their individual communication needs, what might upset the person and how to tell if they are in pain. You can find the Chelsea and Westminster Passport here.

Full of Life has also helped Chelsea and Westminster Hospital develop a Learning Disability Flagging System. This system allows you to provide more in depth information that will assist in making the experience as easy as possible for people with learning disabilities such as advising that early morning appointments are preferred or that the person needs a quiet place to wait. If you would like the hospital record of a person with learning disabilities flagged on the system then please contact Kathryn Mangold on Kathryn.Mangold@chelwest.nhs.uk

 In addition Full of Life has, in partnership with Chelsea and Wesminster Hospital and the Learning Disability Team from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, helped train over 5000 hospital staff on how to work with patients with learning disabilities in a clinical setting.

It is hoped that with our continued close relationship with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital as well as the work that Paula McGowan is doing, there will not be a repeat of stories like that of Oliver McGowan.